Turkey Vs Portugal Match Preview (1 Viewer)

MartinGee

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Turkey and Portugal will face off at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion on Saturday evening, both vying to secure the top spot in Group F and advance to the last 16 of Euro 2024.

Both teams started strong on matchday one. Turkey defeated tournament newcomers Georgia 3-1, while Portugal made a comeback to beat the Czech Republic 2-1. Turkey's victory was particularly notable as they had entered the tournament on a five-game winless streak and had lost their opening match in their last five European Championship appearances.

However, they turned things around with an impressive performance against Georgia. Mert Muldur opened the scoring, and although Georgia equalized, Real Madrid's Arda Guler made history with a spectacular goal, becoming the fifth-youngest scorer in Euros history at 19 years and 114 days old. Kerem Akturkoglu sealed the win in stoppage time, giving coach Vincenzo Montella a perfect 50th birthday celebration.

Despite the win, Montella emphasized the need for greater accuracy in front of goal, as Turkey only managed to get eight of their 22 shots on target. Currently ranked 40th by FIFA, Turkey have lost just two of their last 15 competitive games. A win on Saturday would ensure their progression to the last 16, although they've never beaten Portugal in a European Championship match.

Portugal, who won all ten of their qualifying matches, faced a scare in their Group F opener when the Czech Republic took the lead with a stunning long-range goal from Lukas Provod. But Portugal quickly responded, leveling the score thanks to a fortunate own goal.

Substitute Francisco Conceicao then scored a dramatic 92nd-minute winner, marking his competitive debut in spectacular fashion, 24 years after his father, Sergio Conceicao, scored a hat-trick against Germany at Euro 2000.

The match was historic for Portugal, with both Ronaldo and Pepe breaking European Championship records. Manager Roberto Martinez praised his team for their resilience in coming from behind to win.

Portugal, tied with Turkey on points, will aim to address their defensive issues, having kept just one clean sheet in their last six matches. Nonetheless, they can be confident, having won their last six competitive encounters with Turkey, scoring at least twice in four of those matches.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Turkey made history by becoming only the second team in European Championship history to start two teenagers, Arda Guler and Kenan Yildiz, both 19 years old. These young talents are expected to continue playing on the wings against Portugal.

Captain Hakan Calhanoglu will likely take on a deeper midfield role alongside Kaan Ayhan, though coach Vincenzo Montella might consider replacing Ayhan with either Salih Ozcan from Borussia Dortmund or Okay Yokuslu from West Bromwich Albion.

Defenders Zeki Celik and Merih Demiral are both hoping to be recalled to the lineup, but the back four of Mert Muldur, Samet Akaydin, Abdulkerim Bardakci, and Ferdi Kadioglu may remain unchanged. In the attacking midfield role, Feyenoord's Orkun Kokcu is expected to keep his place ahead of Lille's Yusuf Yazici.

For Portugal, manager Roberto Martinez might stick with the 3-4-3 formation used against the Czech Republic. This setup could see Nuno Mendes playing on the left side of a back three with Pepe and Ruben Dias, while Diogo Dalot and Joao Cancelo take on the wing-back roles.

Vitinha, who delivered a man-of-the-match performance in the last game, is expected to start in midfield alongside Bruno Fernandes, leaving Joao Palhinha, Joao Neves, and Ruben Neves on the bench again.

Cristiano Ronaldo, at 39 years old, aims to become the oldest goalscorer in European Championship history this weekend and is set to lead the attack, flanked by Bernardo Silva on the right and Rafael Leao on the left.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS​

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Gunok; Muldur, Akaydin, Bardakci, Kadioglu; Ozcan, Calhanoglu; Guler, Kokcu, Yildiz; Yilmaz

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Costa; Pepe, Dias, Mendes; Dalot, Fernandes, Vitinha, Cancelo; Bernardo, Ronaldo, Leao

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Turkey 1-2 Portugal
Both teams are in high spirits and highly motivated to secure the three points needed to advance to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

We can expect an exciting match with plenty of action, as both teams are known for their attacking play but have shown defensive vulnerabilities in recent games. Despite this, Portugal has the stronger team on paper and will likely find a way to win.
 

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